Checks and Balances

Checks and Balances

Good Thing: Even with tons of drizzly days of rain this past week, our arena is holding up really well.  My trainer was able to shuffle some things around and give me a lesson on Saturday instead of Sunday!

Bad Thing: Simon has decided he can no longer be caught in the pasture.  It took 30 minutes and two assistants to help me get him.  This is the third time he’s been hard to catch, which means it’s an established pattern in his pea brain.  Extra bonus points to me for trying to “chase him away” when he wouldn’t let me get close with grain. This proved unsuccessful because a) he’s a Thoroughbred bred to run and in a big paddock b) he doesn’t tire easily c) me chasing him turned me into SCARY MOMMY and he didn’t want to go anywhere near SCARY MOMMY.

Good Thing: My trainer is the Simon whisperer and is going to work him in the round pen some this week.

Bad Thing: That may be the only work he gets this week, because we are due for lots of rain again.

Good Thing: Despite the silly start with Simon choosing to “self lunge” himself, we had a fabulous lesson.  I daresay the confidence building and bonding we did at the show has continued its positive momentum.  I just feel really in sync with him and sometimes by the time I start thinking “Hey we need to do X” he’s already met me halfway and X happens.  It sounds like a dorky horse novel, but I’m thrilled.

Even Better Thing: A lesson friend’s husband very kindly videod us, so I have media proof that we had some rocking courses!

Bad Thing: With the crappy rain coming and the lack of consistent riding in the past week, I’ve decided to skip the first hunter derby this coming up weekend.  The jumps are very solid and even though our lesson was amazeballs, the jumps were tiny.  One of my goals with showing this year is to not show up unless I’m feeling very well prepared, and I just don’t think that’s realistic this week.

Good Thing: With the money I’m not spending on showing, I’m going to get my car serviced.  I had planned to do this in January, but then I tore my car door off and had to dish out a big insurance deductible.  Oh well, better late than never right?

I could add several other “good things” to this post, but I won’t bore you with my non-horse weekend details.  We’ll save that for another day!

25 thoughts on “Checks and Balances

  1. Best thing to do when they start running is to just annoy them by walking along side them till they stop. When they stop you stop, then non threateningly walking a step or two in their direction. Repeat. Eventually they learn you won’t stop unless they stop. Maybe a treat in your pocket too for when you finally catch them. Wiz went through this for a short time, as well as some past horses. I’ve never found that grain or chasing works. Just the long patient process… it sucks at first but with repetition you’ll have an easy catch every time.

    But you guys are really rocking it I’m so proud!

  2. I feel your pain on the uncatchable thing. Gina went through a hideous phase like that, and then it was like she woke up one day and decided she was a reasonable creature again.

    Your jump courses look great!! I love how Simon looks so excited, but he minds his manners and doesn’t get silly!

  3. Oh man. Good luck with the hard to catch thing. I hope you find something that works for you, as someone who has definitely been there (and is probably still there, except Connor has to get turned out by himself for unrelated reasons right now).

  4. Hi Lauren! My mare can be terrible about being caught sometimes so I feel your pain. The chasing idea doesn’t really work, but he keep her moving idea does. Obviously you have to get the horse in a smaller area than a huge pasture for it to work. When she runs from me I dont chase her, but when she tries to stop moving I keep her going (swing the rope around my head, whatever I have to do). A few minutes of that and she figures out ts better to be with me than not! Also, when she was really bad about being caught I made sure that I didn’t ride her evey time I caught her. Sometimes I’d just brush her, sometimes just let her hand graze in the yard, whatever. I think she was associating being caught with being made to work!

  5. I hate the keep away chase game. Fortunately, our fields are such that I can just get the 4-wheeler out and win the keep away/run away chase game all the time. Griffin’s played that card a few times; he regrets it greatly when his “playmate” (me) suddenly has the upper hand and the higher speed. “Oh, you want to move your feet and run, little gelding? Let’s run.” To which Griffin says, “YAY….wait….this isn’t fun.” lol

  6. I guess everything is bigger in Texas. That is a very nice-sized home arena! I’ve been there with the hard-to-catch horse. My first horse was in 24/7 pasture on like 12 or more acres (can’t remember now). I remember if I did weird things like sit down and look at the grass and start picking grass, totally ignoring him it would get his curiosity up and he’d come over. That or rattling grain.

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